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Desert Cities in the Negev

Desert Cities in the Negev

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  • 1. The Incense Route - Desert Cities in the Negev World Heritage Site no. 1107 Nominated 15/7/2005 Prepered by: Dr. Tsvika Tsuk, Michal Levi - NPA
  • 2. The Negev – The Southern Region of Israel
    • Vast desert area with few water resources
    • High mountains and deep canyons
    • Cold winters and dry, hot summers
    • Wilderness landscape
    • Desert flowers bloom in spring after rainy winters
  • 3. Historical Background 4 th – 7 th Cent. C.E. Byzantine Cities, villages, churches, bathhouses, agriculture, other routes 2 nd – 4 th Cent. C.E. Roman Settlements, agriculture, camp, milestones 3 rd Cent. B.C.E – 2 nd Cent. C.E Nabataean Road Stations, temples, beginning of dwellings, milestones Chronology Period Structures
  • 4. The Incense Route
    • Frankincense, Myrrh and other spices passed through this
    • route from Oman and Yemen to the Roman Empire
    The Route began in Obar, Oman, passed the Saudian Peninsula, and through Jordan near Petra, and the Negev, ending at the port of Gaza
  • 5. The Incense Route
    • From Gaza the valuable merchandise was shipped to Roman ports in the Mediterranean
    Pliny the Elder described the Incense Route in detail
  • 6. Pliny’s Description
    • “ After the frankincense is collected, it is conveyed by camel to Sabota, and one of the gates of the city is opened to receive the merchandise. The kings enacted a permanent law that it is a serious crime for a camel bearing frankincense to divert from the main road. In Sabota, the priests levy a tithe on the frankincense for the god known as Sabin … From here, the merchandise may be conveyed through the land of the Gebbanites only, and therefore tax must be paid to the king of this people as well. Their capital is Thomna, which is 1487.5 miles [2380 km] from Gaza in Judea, located on the coast of the Mediterranean. The journey is divided into 65 stages [36.6 km each], at each of which is a rest station for the camels. Regular portions of frankincense must be paid to the priests of the lands, their kings, and their scribes. In addition, portions are also taken by guards at gates and their servants. In addition to these, they must pay all the way, in one place for water, elsewhere for a place at the way station, and also for food. Thus, expenses come to 688 denarii even before reaching the Mediterranean. Then our imperial tax officials must be paid again. Because of this, the price of good frankincense can be six denerii per liter, average frankincense can be five denarii, and the third type can be three denarii”.
    • Pliny, Historia Naturalis, 12:32: 63-65
  • 7. Moa Kasra Nekarot Ein-Saharonim Makhmal Sivta Avdat Nizana Mamshit Gaza Petra The Incense Route Haluza Graffon
  • 8.  
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11. SITES AND AREA Linear Property: The Route 65 km. Long, average 1.0 km wide 484 47 Shivta 514 242 Mamshit 278 52 Haluza 62,592 6,314 The Route and Avdat Area of Buffer Zone in Hectares Area of Core Zone in Hectares Sites
  • 12.
    • National parks are areas meant for “the public enjoyment of nature or for the preservation of areas of historic, archaeological, or architectural importance”.
    • An area designated as a national park may not be changed…No building work or other activity will be permitted unless it has been approved by the National Parks Authority.
    • A nature reserve is “an area in which animals, plants, inanimate objects, soil, caves, water and landscape are protected from changes in their appearance, biological makeup, and natural development.”
    National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Memorial Sites Law – 1992
  • 13. Protected Areas along the Route
  • 14. The Antiquities Law - 1978
    • Antiquities Law Chpt. 7: Antiquity Sites
    • 28. (a) The Director may declare a particular place to be an antiquity site...
    • 29. (a) A person shall not carry out, or allow to be carried out, any of the following activities on an antiquity site…
  • 15. Antiquities protected sites Along the Route
  • 16. Main Stakeholders
    • Local residents: Jews and Muslims (Bedouin)
    • Ramat Negev Regional Council
    • Middle Arava Regional Council
    • Mizpe Ramon Local Council
    • Negev Development Authority
    • “ Friends of The Earth”
    • Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel
  • 17. Main Stakeholders
    • Ben Gurion University – Ancient Agriculture
    • Israel, Nature and Parks Authority - Ministry of Environment, State of Israel
    • Israel Antiquities Authority - Ministry of Education, State of Israel
    • Ministry of Tourism, State of Israel
  • 18. 1. Moa Fortress and Caravanserai “Station no. 60” – First in the Negev
    • The Caravanserai 40 X 40 m,
    • a central courtyard surrounded by several rooms with bath facilities
    • The Fortress 17 X 17 m, a central courtyard surrounded by 11 rooms with an olive press
    • The Water Pool 11 x 9 m
    • filled by an underground
    • spring
  • 19. 2. Kasra Fortress Daylight Guard Post
    • Watchtower 5 x 5.5 m includes 3 rooms
    • Hidden Water Cistern
  • 20. 3. Nekarot Fortress Small Watchtower
    • Two-story Tower with 3 rooms
    • Ruined Complex of 6 rooms
    • Small Hidden Water Cistern
  • 21. 4. Ein Saharonim Caravanserai “Station no. 61”
    • The Caravanserai 42 X 42 m, a central courtyard surrounded by many rooms with workshops for craftsmen, bath tubs and a cooking stove.
    One day walk from Moa (Station 60)
  • 22. 5. Makhmal Ascent and Fortress Lookout and guard spot
    • Watchtower 7 x 6.5 m with 2 rooms
    • Water cistern 8x4.8 m 150 cubic m
  • 23. 6. Graffon Fortress Watchtower
    • Watchtower 6 x 6 m
    • Living quarters = building with 5 rooms
    • Small lookout tower 2 x 2 m
    • Hidden Water Cistern
  • 24. 7. Milestones along the Route
    • In Makhtesh Ramon, 6 milestone stations
    • In Nafha Highlands, 5 milestone stations
    Two Segments of road with Milestones: Each station consists of two milestones
  • 25. 10. Avdat National Park “Station no. 62”
    • Small town 400 X 300m
    • Roman Quarter and Tower
    • Military Camp
    • Nabataean Temple
    • 2 Churches
    • Byzantine Fortress
    • Bathhouse
  • 26. 11. Haluza “Station no. 63”
    • The most Northern City in the Negev
    • Small Theater
    • One Church
  • 27. 12. Mamshit - Located on Secondary Route
    • The most eastern town
    • Gate and City Wall
    • Caravanserai
    • Bathhouse
    • 2 Churches
    • Villas
  • 28. 13. Shivta Located on Secondary Route
    • Small Town
    • Sophisticated Water System
    • 2 Water Pools
    • 3 Churches
    • 3 Winepresses
  • 29.  
  • 30.  
  • 31. Management Plan The Nature and Parks Authority Responsible for the management and protection of nature reserves, national parks and the natural and heritage assets in Israel The Authority is comprised of five administrative districts The Incense Route and Desert Cities are included in the Southern District
  • 32. Conservation actions in the protected areas
    • Management plan for ecotourism and recreation (roads, camping sites, trails, visitor centers etc.)
    • Conservation of archaeological sites – detailed programs for the route sites
    • Planning and promoting protected areas proclamation
    • Inspection of the state infrastructure development activities during planning and construction
    Management Plan
  • 33.
    • Research and monitoring activities
    • Rehabilitation of disturbed habitat and Quarries restoration
    • Invading species and Pest control
    • Reintroduction of endangered species (Wild Ass, Arabian Oryx)
    • Populations control
    Conservation actions in the protected areas Management Plan
  • 34.
    • Low enforcement-of the “ National Parks, Nature Reserves, and Memorial Sites Law – 1992” and “Wild animal protection low” and other environmental lows
    • Management plan for army practices
    • Environmental education and instruction
    • for the Army and general public
    • by special centers and guides
    Conservation actions in the protected areas Management Plan
  • 35. Management Plan Professional Training
    • Education and training of the employees include courses in:
    • Conservation
    • Management
    • Enforcement
    • Visitor Service
    • Public participation and education
  • 36. See You in The Negev…